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Sunday June 26, 2016

Study: Google Fiber Could Raise Rents 11 Percent

Gigabit-speed fiber services such as Google Fiber are expected to increase the cost of living by a considerable margin in available areas. Bay Area prices should be particularly interesting.

When fiber-delivered internet comes to an area, rent for apartments and condos could go up 11 percent, a new report says. Such a rise provides "better bottom lines" for landlords, said a press release from the Fiber to the Home Council, which put out the report. "These apartment and condominium owners and renters have lifestyles centering heavily on broadband use," the report said. "(They) spend more time online and use online streaming video more than single family home residents of similar age. Fast and reliable broadband is now rated the single most important amenity."


Price Warriors Are Vandalizing GeForce 1080 Reviews

Like any popular item with limited stock, prices are going way beyond MSRP, and people are voicing their displeasure. What’s the most ridiculous price you’ve seen for the 1080 or 1070?

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Gamers frustrated to find the 10 Series are doing something really misguided. Thousands of people have taken to give 1-star reviews all over Amazon to warn other not to pay a dime above retail, or as one reviewer put it: "Take me out to dinner first before you decide to fuck me". You can find comments and reviews like this across every make and model on the store. Since the price gougers have them in-stock the MSRP is driven up on the official product EVGA page, for example. The company is now facing have hundreds and hundreds of cost-related complaints from consumers.


You’ll Play A Powerless, Ordinary Person In Resident Evil 7

…I think it’s a bad idea to have a Resident Evil game without Jill, Chris, Leon, or other franchise favorites. Hell, your character won’t even have any special forces training. Maybe they should have called it something else? (At least there’s a Resident Evil 2 remake coming.)

It’s not a reboot and we’re not throwing away the series’ canonical storyline. It’s the new numbered title in the series and it’s a sequel to the existing mainline series titles. After I say that and you try the demo, you may say "Really?", because it looks nothing like any of that, but trust me. We need to have a bit of mystery in survival horror, so we’re trying to make you wonder when you play it how could this possibly be connected? That’s part of the appeal.


Intel Considers Sale Of Cyber Security Business

No comments from Intel yet, but they are supposedly getting rid of their Intel Security unit. The company is currently in the process of restructuring its business, with a focus on selling chips for cloud computing.

…the company has been talking to its bankers about options for the Intel Security unit, which was previously known as McAfee. Intel bought McAfee for $7.7 billion in 2011. A spokesperson for Intel could not be immediately reached for comment. The company said in April that it planned to cut up to 12,000 jobs globally as it refocuses its business toward making microchips that power data centers and Internet-connected devices and away from the declining personal computer industry it helped found.


Apple Thunderbolt Display Successor Will Likely Support Wider Gamut

The lack of P3 color gamut support is probably a big reason why the current model is being phased out; the late 2015 Retina iMac already features a wide-gamut display. There is also that rumor of a GPU being integrated into the monitor.

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While everyone is excited about a new monitor and a GPU, I think there’s a much more grounded reason Apple is refreshing its display hardware: P3. The P3 color gamut is one Apple is big on, and once you see it — you can’t un-see it. It goes well beyond the standard sRGB spectrum and specifically makes greens and blues pop. Apple says P3 brings about 25 percent more color to your display, which is especially handy when editing photos or doing other visual design work. Most good cameras can capture colors our monitors just can’t display, which is why Apple thinks P3 is a winner; it can show those colors.


Smartphones Caused Temporary Blindness For Two Women

It shouldn’t be surprising that your vision may be impaired when your eyes have to adapt from bright to dark conditions and vice versa. I suppose the period of blindness is noteworthy here, however—yet I have no idea how they failed to correlate their loss with their viewing habits, despite it happening multiple times a week.

The condition, called "transient monocular visual loss," appears to have been caused by the women using their smartphones in the dark, according to a study published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine. And it could be happening to more people. In both cases studied by the researchers, the patients reported the same behavior before the blindness occurred: They were staring at their phones while lying on their left side in bed. The longest the blindness lasted was about 15 minutes.


US Customs Wants To Collect Social Media Account Names At The Border

Social media data may make it easier for investigators to do their job, but how effective can this really be, considering a felon could just submit a clean or staged profile?

The optional question on arrival and departure forms would ask about a traveler’s "social media identifier," but not passwords. People could leave it blank. The extra information would be used for vetting and contact information, according to the proposal. "Collecting social media data will enhance the existing investigative process and provide [the Department of Homeland Security] greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections by providing an additional tool set which analysts and investigators may use to better analyze and investigate the case," according to the proposal. The proposed change was published in the Federal Register on Thursday, giving the public 60 days to comment.


$4 Smartphone To Start Shipping Next Week

This smartphone not only costs $4, but it can, presumably, even turn on and make calls. Ringing Bells managed to offset part of the cost with pre-installed apps, but each unit will still see a loss of 140 to 150 rupees (around $2).

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After raising eyebrows around the world earlier this year, Indian smartphone company Ringing Bells has announced that it will begin shipping its suspiciously cheap Freedom 251 phone from June 30. The announcement follows its earlier commitment of shipping the Freedom 251, a 4-inch entry level Android-powered smartphone priced at 251 rupees (roughly $3.70, £2.70, AU$5), by the end of June. Ringing Bells has over 200,000 units of Freedom 251 ready for shipment, said the company's founder and CEO Mohit Goel in an interview with IANS.


The Fourth Amendment Does Not Protect Your Home Computer

A court has ruled that a warrant is not required for the government to hack into your computer. As noted, there seems to be a dangerous trend of people making far-reaching decisions concerning technology they don’t fully understand.

The implications for the decision, if upheld, are staggering: law enforcement would be free to remotely search and seize information from your computer, without a warrant, without probable cause, or without any suspicion at all. To say the least, the decision is bad news for privacy. But it's also incorrect as a matter of law, and we expect there is little chance it would hold up on appeal. (It also was not the central component of the judge's decision, which also diminishes the likelihood that it will become reliable precedent.)


What The Hell Is A Teraflop Anyway?

The teraflop seems to be the hot, go-to spec for marketing how powerful a console is, but how much does it actually translate to gaming performance and graphical power? Well, there are certainly other things to look at, such as CPU power.

There is no direct, linear relationship between in-game performance and computational power as measured by teraflops, and while we can get some idea of relative GPU performance, this only really works when comparing different graphics hardware based on the same core architecture. And even then, a GPU with, say, a 40 per cent advantage over another will not see that advantage scale in a linear fashion in terms of pure performance. The capabilities of a graphics processor also rely on more than just computational power too - memory bandwidth in particular is of key importance.


Microsoft Tweaks Activation Rules For Windows 10 Anniversary Update

It appears that licensing can be linked to your Microsoft account in the near future. I wonder why they didn’t do this to begin with, as a personal account is less likely to change, as opposed to your hardware configuration. It should be easier to reactivate Windows now after replacing a motherboard or other significant component.

After a motherboard replacement, you can use the new Activation Troubleshooter to view digital licenses associated with your Microsoft account and identify the device that has the replacement motherboard. That action transfers the digital license to the new installation ID. The second situation where the link to a Microsoft account might help is on a PC that has more than one license attached to it. That situation might apply if you purchased a PC with Windows 10 Home installed by the OEM and then upgraded to Windows 10 Pro during the free upgrade period using a product key from a retail copy of Windows 7 Professional, for example.


Saturday June 25, 2016

Don't Send An Email If You Can Pick Up The Phone

This headline caught my eye because—well, I regularly have people tell me to call them when we are already engaged via email, which is annoying. I suspect it has nothing to do with immediacy, but more about someone being at risk of saying something really stupid or offensive and not wanting to be on record.

The lesson is derivative of the popular adage in various professional circles that goes something like this: don't say shit in writing that you don't want to see published for everyone to see. It's the kind of thing you'd expect any skilled operative to have penciled into their pocket-sized US Constitution, but it can be a practical lesson for almost anyone — especially people who say things they really shouldn't. And yet, I suspect the vast majority of us ignore this rule completely. Like a group of teachers at a prep school in Rhode Island who insulted their students in Slack, only to have those conversations leaked to the whole school.


Austin Conducting Sting Operations Against Ride-Sharing Drivers

Arcade City is a ride-sharing service that rose from the ashes of Uber and Lyft, but the city has determined that it is violating regulations. In response, undercover cops are posing as riders and impounding drivers’ vehicles.

…the city is cracking down on another ride-sharing service. This time, city officials said 'Arcade City' is not following ordinances. The service came into play after Austin voted 'No' to Proposition 1, and Uber and Lyft left town. Undercover detectives performed a sting operation Friday night: including one on Nueces and 3rd Street. There, they ticketed and impounded the cars of four Arcade City drivers. Most of the drivers used to work for Uber or Lyft. "When they left, I had no source of income, period," Cheri Hawes said. "'Arcade City' came in and thank God they did, because that was really what supplemented my income. That's how I take care of my family."


Ride A Glass Slide 1,000 Feet Above L.A.

They should have gone all the way and made the slide go from the 70th floor to street level.

To ride, you board a gray mat and pull it up over your feet -- kind of like a makeshift sled -- and scoot yourself over the precipice. Only one person can go at a time. Forty-five feet sounds long, but the ride takes just a few seconds. Before you can get a really proper scream going, you're launched out onto a safety mat on an outdoor deck on the 69th floor. Many of the people in attendance Thursday surprised themselves by wanting to take a second or third ride.


Galaxy Note 7 Confirmed With Iris Scanner

Samsung is skipping the Note 6 moniker altogether, placing the next device on par, name-wise, with the Galaxy S7. The iris scanner rumors have also seemed to panned out; we should be getting the new Note in August.

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Multiple reports stated that Samsung might skip a numeral to release the Galaxy Note 7 later this year, and it also being reported that there will be no flat screen variant of the device. Now, a new image has surfaced that pretty much confirms the name of the next flagship smartphone from Samsung. A new tweet from serial leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) consists of what could be an official logo of the Galaxy Note 7. It is possible that the South Korean smartphone giant might release only the curved screen variant of the Galaxy Note 7. It is expected to feature a 5.8-inch curved QHD Super AMOLED display, a 12-megapixel primary camera with new features, a 5-megapixel secondary camera, 6GB RAM, a microSD card slot, and a 4000 mAh battery.


Mega Man Handyman Commercial

As if you needed a reminder, the Mega Man costume is something you should never wear in real life.


Smartphones Won’t Make Your Kids Dumb (We Think)

So here’s another piece on whether you should worry about your kid indulging in a device. The truth is that there simply isn’t enough data yet to come to any staple conclusion, but like most things, moderation is probably advisable.

"It’s pretty common," says Jenny Radesky, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan. "It becomes the go-to, easiest tool the parent is using." Although helpful in the short term, it’s important for young children to be able to develop internal mechanisms of self-regulation, whether that’s learning without constant rewards or being able to sit patiently without constant digital stimulation. Christakis says that, anecdotally, he and others are starting to see younger and younger patients using these devices compulsively.


20 Years Later, We Still Game In The Shadow Of Quake

Quake is still relevant and will always be relevant, being the first fully 3D game to use polygonal models, support hardware-accelerated graphics rendering, and have multiplayer-specific levels. Do future Quake titles have any chance of recapturing the magic of the originals?

No company has had a greater impact on these games than Id Software, and among its many important achievements stands Quake, which was released 20 years ago this week. There’s never been a game like Quake. And that’s true for both the broader games industry. And, as it turns out, for me personally as well. Looking at the earliest shooters, we see some important milestones, such as DOOM, of course, and Duke Nukem 3D. But it wasn’t until Quake that Id’s genius platform maker, John Carmack, was able to bring us into the world of real time 3D. Every shooter that’s been made since, including the Call of Duty titles I now prefer, could not and would not exist if it weren’t for Carmack, and for Quake.


Independence Day: Resurgence: Like A High-Budget Porno, Minus Sex And Fun

You’d think that 20 years would have been enough time to come up with a decent script. I didn’t have a problem with the CG like this guy, but I did hate how uninspired and boring most of the story beats were. Even Will Smith and David Arnold couldn’t have saved it.

Many scenes include lousy green-screen staging, revealing cheap-looking real-life sets beneath minimally detailed CGI spaceships on both the human and alien sides. The main giant alien mothership, which pretty much covers half of the Earth, eventually transforms into a slightly more on-fire version of Lost's stupid smoke monster. It's hard to tell what exactly the thing is supposed to do. At one point, an indiscriminate Asian city is attacked in such a way that every building, car, and person starts floating up into the sky. The camera then cuts to Goldblum, who murmurs, "everything that goes up must come down," and then those buildings and cars start falling—but all of the humans are already on the ground, looking up and screaming about what's happening. Huh?


Microsoft Tried Partnering With Nintendo And Sony Before Making Xbox

I wonder what the console industry would be like today if Nintendo or Sony agreed to work with Microsoft on putting out a product. Those old rumors about Microsoft ever wanting to buy Nintendo have also now been dispelled.

Xbox co-creator Ed Fries replied, "When we first started thinking about doing Xbox we met with Nintendo and we sat down with Iwata and others and we said, 'This is what we want to do. Could we partner? Could we work together on this?' And basically they said no." Fries went on to note that Microsoft offered to handle the software and networking side of things while Nintendo would be in charge of the hardware, and they could team up to release a product, but the company wasn't interested.


Big-Ass Phones Need To Die In A Fire

Considering the success of larger phones, this seems like nothing more than a pointless rant—and then there’s the fact that nobody is forcing you to buy a larger phone if you can’t deal with one. But I’ll ask…how big is too big?

…we keep buying bigger ones year after year. This is all our fault. There are some improvements like slimmer bezels and thinner designs that make big phones more tolerable and easier to use, but they're still stupidly oversized phones. I use an iPhone 6 with a "reasonable" 4.7-inch screen. If I had it my way, I would buy an iPhone SE, but it's not good enough for me because it tops out at 64GB of storage and I need (yes, need) at least 128GB. My personal phone choice will never be a phablet. Like everyone else, though, I've learned to accept the phablet. The 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 Edge is one excellent phone. So is the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 5. And so is the 5.7-inch Nexus 6P. Phablets will be among us forever.


Opera Claims To Beat Microsoft Edge In Battery Life

Edge has the best battery life? Not so fast, says Opera, who claims their browser’s battery-saving feature lets it run 22% longer than the competition. Many are thinking this isn’t fair, though, since Microsoft’s tests didn’t involve potential energy savers such as ad-blockers.

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Opera Developer (39.0.2248.0) with native ad blocker and power saver enabled is able to run 22% longer than Microsoft Edge (25.10586.0.0) on a laptop running Windows 10, 64-bit, and 35% longer than the latest version of Google Chrome (51.0.2704.103). Tests will never perfectly reflect the way real people browse, but there are ways to make some tests more reliable than others. For example, you can use a variety of different websites (video, news etc,) to imitate the way users browse. You can also use a special algorithm that scrolls these websites similar way real users do. This is what we did in previous tests, and this is what we did when comparing Opera to Edge.


How Did The U.S. Patent Office Get So Screwed Up?

We arguably had the best patent system, but now it doesn’t look very good—particularly for the smaller guys who have their ideas adopted by corporate behemoths. The rise of the patent troll has made it even harder for legitimate idea types to get what they rightfully deserve.

Starting in the early 2000s, the rights and protections conferred by a U.S. patent have eroded to the point that they are weaker today than at any time since the Great Depression. A series of Supreme Court decisions and then the most important patent-reform legislation in sixty years, signed into law in 2011, have made it so. The stated purpose of the reform has been to exterminate so-called patent trolls—those entities that own patents (sometimes many thousands of them) and engage in no business other than suing companies for patent infringement. The reforms have had their desired effect. It has become harder for trolls to sue. But they've made it harder for people with legitimate cases, people like Norred, to sue, too.


U.S. Getting 200-Petaflop Supercomputer By Early 2018

It was reported earlier that China has built the world’s fastest supercomputer at 124.5 petaflops, all with domestic processors. We won’t be outdone, however—IBM’s upcoming Summit system, which will be capable of 200 petaflops, will move us back up.

Sunway TaihuLight can reach a theoretical peak speed of 124.5 petaflops, and has achieved 93 petaflops on the Linpack benchmark, used by the Top500 to assess the performance of supercomputers. The latest ranking of the world's publicly disclosed supercomputers was released Monday at a supercomputing conference in Germany. The U.S. Dept. of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory is expecting an IBM system -- named Summit, capable of 200 petaflops -- in early 2018. (A petaflop equals one quadrillion floating point operations per second.) This system will use IBM Power9 and Nvidia Volta GPUs.


Friday June 24, 2016

[H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews

Today is Friday and you know what that means! It is time once again for the [H]ard|OCP Week in Reviews! For anyone that might have missed them, we like to take a quick look back on the hardware evaluations and articles we posted earlier in the week. We kicked the week off with our GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 FE Overclocking Review, followed by our evaluation of the Corsair SF600 600W SFX power supply. Finally, we wrapped things up with our DX11 vs DX12 Intel 6700K vs 6950X Framerate Scaling article.

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[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Anidees AI8 @ HardwareSlave

Input: SteelSeries Apex M500 @ APH Networks

XSOUL XM8 Predator Gaming Mouse @ Modders Inc.

Storage: Mushkin Triactor SSD @ SSD Review

Video: Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming @ HiTech Legion

MSI Gaming 3 and 4-way SLI Bridge Connector @ Overclockers Club

FSP Introduces 700W PS2 Redundant PSU With 80 Plus Gold Efficiency

FSP, the performance power specialist, is pleased to announce its new FSP700-70RGHBE1 PS2 redundant Power Supply. The FSP700-70RGHBE1 joins the FSP500-70RGHBB1 as the latest server-grade power supply from FSP. This time, two highly reliable 700W power supplies are offered, achieving 22.4W/in3 (watt per cubic inch,) the highest power density currently available in a standard PS2 redundant form factor. The two fully redundant, modular power supplies operate at 80 Plus Gold efficiency, and no specialized bracket is needed for installation. It is the first PS2 redundant which fits 80% of ATX chassis on the market without needing a special bracket. It’s compliant with both desktop ATX 12V and server EPS12V standards, suitable for many industrial PCs, and also compatible with rackmount server chassis 3U and above. It offers reliable, 24-hr performance at temperatures up to 50°C.



It's Friday, the end of the work week for many of us, and most of you will be heading home soon. We want all of you to watch this public service announcement so that, unlike Joan in the video, you make it home safe and sound. big grin


Apple Is Discontinuing Its Only Monitor

Alright, I need one of you guys that are Apple experts to explain this to me. I know these monitors were expensive and all but everyone I know that has one, loved it. So why are they killing off the only monitor they make?

Apple announced today that it is officially discontinuing the monitor, and as of right now, no plans for the future have been announced. Rumors ahead of this year’s WWDC, where Apple usually presents its new products, focused on the possibility of 4K and 5K Thunderbolt monitors — but right before the show, Apple mysteriously removed the Personal Pickup app from all Thunderbolts. The app assists with in-store purchases, allowing users to buy their products ahead of time and grab them at the Apple store.


Texting And Gaming Causes Arthritis At Early Age

I'm not saying I don't believe this report, I'm just saying that, if constantly using our hands is causing the of early onset of arthritis, 99.99% of all men would have been crippled a looong time ago. Yes, that was a masturbation joke. big grin

"With the advent of texting and video games and excessive use of computers and typing you’re wearing the joints out sooner so we’re actually seeing a shift in the demographics of patients that get the arthritis because they’re just wearing their joints out so much sooner," Ciaglia said. We’ve becoming a society that seems to constantly use our hands.


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